Florida’s theme parks aren’t all rollercoasters and rides. The theme park restaurants do just as good a job at bringing the magic to life. Want to know where you can buy Butterbeer™, tuck in next to a T-Rex, or have a stellar dinner in space? We’ve scoured Disney and Universal for the best family-friendly restaurants Orlando has to offer…
If you’re craving a taste of home, the Three Broomsticks will do the trick. This place looks like it’s been lifted straight out of a Harry Potter film. You can tuck into British classics, like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and roasted chicken. Or, go for The Great Feast – a platter of smoked chicken and ribs for four people. The drinks menu features wizarding favourites, like Gillywater and non-alcoholic Butterbeer™. And, if it’s hot out, order a frozen Butterbeer™ and sip it on the outdoor terrace, which looks over Hogsmeade village.
You can eat surrounded by animated animals at the Rainforest Café®. This place really stirs your senses with huge banyan trees and waterfalls accompanied by the sound of thunder, rainstorms and bird song. The eats are jungle-themed too, with dino-shaped chicken bites and python pasta for kids, along with jungle steak and a beastly burger for adults. And you can finish off your Amazon adventure with a trip to the shop for cuddly animal toys and other tropical trinkets.
Universal’s at it again with this elaborately themed eatery. This one looks like it’s been carved into the side of a mountain, so it feels like you’re eating in a majestic cave. Outside, waterfalls cascade down giant rocks. Inside, the grotto-like interiors are just the beginning. The award-winning menu’s not your typical theme park grub. Instead, you can dine on Mediterranean and Asian specialties like grilled octopus, lamb meatballs, and scallop and pea risotto. There’s a separate menu for little ones. Plus, when the weather’s nice, you can sit on the patio and admire the views across the lagoon.
Travel back to the Jurassic Age at this dinosaur-themed café. You and your brood can dine with dinosaurs, including a 15-foot-tall T-Rex, as well as a giant moving octopus and wooly mammoths. There are a couple of different areas to pick from, like the ice cavern and the fern forest. But, wherever you sit, you’ll feel the rumble of the meteor shower, which erupts every 20 minutes. There’s plenty to keep budding paleontologists busy, thanks to dedicated hands-on zones. Your youngsters can dig for fossils and hidden treasures, or create their own pet dinosaur at the Build-A-Dino store.
This fast food marketplace might be more for you than the kids, but it’s great for a quick bite. There are nine places to eat in total, ranging from an Italian, a seafood place and a fried chicken stack – all themed around the world’s most famous cartoon family, The Simpsons. Cartoon fans can sink their teeth into a double-stacked, cheese-covered Krusty Burger. Or, head to Moe’s Tavern for a cold Duff beer. Either way, it’s the perfect option for families who can’t agree.
We know a lot of restaurants promise out-of-this-world dining, but this place actually delivers. A dining experience with an intergalactic twist, Space 220 whisks you 220 miles above the earth to dine in space – virtually, of course. To start, you’ll need to board a special space elevator to get to the stars. Then, you can tuck into Starry Calamari, Space-glazed Duck Breast and Galaxy Grain Salad while peering out the window at the views of Earth from above. It’s a little on the pricey side, but how many people can say they’ve ‘dined in space’?
This sushi and burger bar takes surf and turf literally. The must-try dish here is the Cheeseburgooshi, which is basically a cheeseburger in sushi form. Think black angus beef, cheddar and applewood bacon, all wrapped in soy paper and potato strings, and deep-fried. If that’s not your style, they do classic sushi rolls and bento boxes, too. And the burger menu doesn’t mess around. You can order patties topped with truffle cheese, brie and thyme-infused honey, or even peanut butter and fried bananas.
8. Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, Disney’s Riviera Resort
Topolino’s Terrace takes its name from the Italian for Mickey Mouse – which should give you some clue as to what’s on offer. It’s the character breakfast that steals the show here. Mickey and his friends parade through the restaurant, while you feast on the likes of gruyère quiches, sour cream waffles and smoked salmon. The characters are only around for brekkie, but it’s worth booking dinner, too, for the panoramic rooftop views. Post-sunset, the menu’s filled with French and Italian dishes, like seafood and handmade pasta.
This restaurant is the swankiest on our list. But that’s not to say families aren’t catered for. Step inside the Beast’s castle for a French-themed dining experience in one of the specially decorated rooms. Pick from the Grand Ballroom with its domed ceiling and sparkling chandeliers, or brave the West Wing for a look at the enchanted rose. There’s a three-course children’s menu for ages three to nine, with kid-friendly favourites like mac and cheese, chicken breast, and fruit and cheese boards. Meanwhile, grown-ups can start with French onion soup or lobster bisque, before following up with pan-seared scallops and filet mignon. Bon appétit!
The food here wouldn’t be out of place in Naples itself. The pizzas are as authentic as they come. They’re made with Caputo flour, imported from Southern Italy. And the water for the dough is sourced from a spring, just like in Italy’s Campania region. They’re then cooked to perfection in the wood-burning ovens. If you don’t fancy pizza, there are plenty of other Italian options, like tortellini, spaghetti and meatballs, and ravioli. Plus, you can round off your meal with gelato, panna cotta and tiramisu, just like mama used to make… Which of these Orlando restaurants get your tummy rumbling? Take a look at our holidays to Orlando today.